Supreme Court ruling could help robocall crackdown

Florida received 350,000 complaints about robocalls last year


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – There's some good news for the many Floridians sick and tired of constant robocalls.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a decades-old federal law that bans robocalls, giving individuals and states to fight back.

There were more than 350,000 complaints about robocalls last year in Florida. We even got a few while putting together this story about these calls.

In Monday’s ruling, the law banning robocalls was upheld and even beefed up, removing an exemption for debt collectors.

“Part of what the law does is allows new technology to be invented [and] allow us an opportunity to actually go after some of those companies,” Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried said.

Fried heads Florida’s Division of Consumer Services, which fined 16 companies nearly $1 million for violating Florida’s ‘Do Not Call’ list last year.

“For consumers, this is a huge win. This is a real opportunity to get those robocalls off of our phone lines,” Fried said.

Not everyone is happy with the ruling.

Pollsters and political consultants had hoped the court would grant them an exemption from the ban. But Ron Sachs, who runs a political communications firm, said those who were suing have plenty of other less intrusive options to reach voters.

“We do surveying, polling every week to broad numbers of people locally, statewide, even nationally and those polls are from voter rolls and they are online surveys that people opt-in,” Sachs said.

Cell phone companies have been developing new technologies for labeling and even filtering out suspected robocalls.

As an added protection, sign up for Florida’s Do Not Call list.

You can also file a complaint with the department.

The federal government also recently beefed up penalties for violators. The TRACED Act signed into law in December sets fines as high as $10,000 per unlawful robocall in some cases.